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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski / USA Today Sports

The 2017 Playoff Chase: almost there

Welcome to the 11th week of our Western Conference playoff race coverage. The playoff picture is becoming very clear in terms of which teams are going to be in. But there’s still a lot of movement in the standings and it’s a bit fuzzy in terms of which teams will play each other moving forward.

Let’s check out the race as we begin the weekend!

WHERE THEY STAND

Team
GP
W
Pts
Pct
ROW
Div
Chances % Change
Blackhawks 74 48 102 .689 44 CEN IN none
Wild 73 44 94 .644 41 CEN 100% none
Sharks 73 42 91 .623 40 PAC 100% none
Ducks 73 39 89 .610 36 PAC 99.9% up 1.3%
Oilers 74 40 89 .601 36 PAC 99.9% up 1.0%
Flames 74 41 86 .581 37 PAC 98.2% up 4.8%
Blues 73 40 85 .582 39 CEN 99.8% up 4.3%
Predators 73 37 85 .582 35 CEN 98.6% up 4.4%
Kings 73 35 77 .527 33 PAC 3.4% down 15.9%
Jets 74 33 73 .493 31 CEN 0.1% none
Stars 73 29 69 .473 29 CEN 0.0% none
Canucks 73 29 66 .459 25 PAC OUT none
Coyotes 74 27 63 .426 21 PAC OUT none
Avalanche 73 20 43 .295 20 CEN OUT none

(Chances courtesy Sports Club Stats.)

Alright, here’s where things stand: Chicago is officially in and the other seven teams that haven’t clinched are almost there.

Everybody but Los Angeles has almost zero chance of making the playoffs. The Kings’ tragic number is 5.5, meaning any combination of 5.5 Nashville wins or Los Angeles losses officially cements the top eight clubs.

As has been happening for awhile, there are three main races:

  • San Jose, Anaheim, Edmonton and Calgary vying for the three Pacific Division spots (the Sharks have fallen back into this group).
  • Nashville and St. Louis are fighting for the last Central Division spot.
  • Calgary, Nashville, St. Louis and Los Angeles (barely) are fighting for the two wildcard spots.

If the playoffs began today the Flames would be playing San Jose, but there’s a lot of movement likely still to come in the standings.

THIS PAST WEEK

The Flames won twice and lost twice over their past week. They beat Dallas and Los Angeles at home, then lost to Washington and Nashville on the road.

THIS COMING WEEK

The Flames play three times before next Friday. They’ll face St. Louis on Saturday, then head home to face Colorado on Monday and Los Angeles on Wednesday. The game against the Kings is the most likely candidate for when they’ll clinch a playoff spot officially.

Focusing in on the teams in Calgary’s general vicinity:

  • Anaheim (three points up, one game in hand): they play Winnipeg, NY Rangers, Vancouver and Winnipeg (again).
  • Edmonton (three points up): they play Colorado, Los Angeles and San Jose.
  • St. Louis (one point back, one game in hand): they play Calgary and Arizona (twice).
  • Nashville (one point back, one game in hand): they play San Jose, NY Islanders, Boston and Toronto.
  • Los Angeles (nine points back, one game in hand): they play NY Rangers, Edmonton and Calgary.

This time next week, we’ll have a much clearer picture of who might play who in the postseason.

  • cberg

    This attitude of “almost there” assuming we’ve made it will prove disastrous if the Flames don’t put their noses to the grindstone and get a few more wins immediately. The last 7 games could all be killers and the Flames are not so vaunted that it can easily slip away.

  • Alberta Ice

    So looking forward to the return of Matthew Tkachuk and both our Alberta teams making the playoff run. Oilers may well finish first in the Pacific with the easiest schedule left. May our Alberta teams best the California teams. It will be quite a race these last two plus weeks in the Pacific division. Hockey really gets great this time of year! GFG